vintage feedsack dress

vintage feedsack dress  vintage feedsack dressCoach Saddle Bagvintage feedsack dress

Outfit Details:

vintage feedsack dress

Karen Walker “Starburst” sunglasses

Janessa Leone Klint hat

Coach Saddle Bag

Madewell sandals

Sephora Cream Lip Stain in Pink Soufflé

I bought this vintage, handmade feedsack dress a long time ago, and it’s still one of my favorites. I have a couple of old feedsack dresses — actually, one is coming up in a future post — and they forever survive my closet purges. I can’t wear this one very often, because it’s really fragile. In fact, I ripped it on this very day, and now it needs repair! The feedsack dresses remind me of my great grandma Moe, who grew up during The Great Depression (as she would’ve said, “Nothin’ great about it!”) and knew a whole lot about making dresses out of feedsacks. You can read more about it in that link, but from what Moe told me, it was as simple as this: women made do with the resources around them, and that often meant making garments out of feedsack cloth (as in, the bags containing grain for livestock), or bags of flour, etc. They eventually started printing the feed bags with pretty colors and patterns, and the women would pick out their feed according to what fabric they were interested in. Clever, isn’t it?! I always found that to be fascinating — in fact, Moe’s whole life was fascinating.

Here’s a little tidbit (and I have a million of these): She was an incredible, self-taught seamstress, and taught me everything I know about making clothing. She fibbed her way into a factory job when she was just a kid, having no previous knowledge of sewing, and quickly became the best seamstress in St. Louis. In fact, she once got really angry with her boss and followed him around the factory, hollering and cursing him out the whole time. When he said, “Jimmy, you’re fired!” (her nickname was Jimmy, and no one knew why), she responded, “Fired? Hell, I quit twenty minutes ago!” and stormed out. He showed up at her house, the next day, begging her to come back. And that’s the long-winded tangent of how my great grandma was a total bada** lady in the 1930s, and continued to hold that title until her last day on earth. She was the absolute coolest.

  1. La Bijoux Bella | by mia says: September 8, 201612:34 am

    The look is soooo cute! Just adorable! 🙂

    La Bijoux Bella | by mia

  2. Natali says: September 8, 201612:35 am

    Wow, you had a pretty rad grandma!! Strong woman! 🙂
    Your vintage dress is so beautiful in all of it’s simplicity!

    https://lartoffashion.com/visit-helsinki-yume-tastic/

  3. Nicole says: September 8, 20161:02 am

    Your great grandma sounds like an amazing woman- I loved reading this story about her! This dress is really pretty too- that’s so sad that it is too fragile to wear too often.
    The Artyologist

  4. laura mitbrodt says: September 8, 20163:07 am

    What a cute dress, I love the photos
    xo
    http://www.laurajaneatelier.com

  5. Mimi says: September 8, 20164:05 am

    Thank you for a lovely blog with lots of personal touches. Yes, that dress is wonderful. It looks great on you. Whoever stitched it would be thrilled.
    Grandmothers and great grandmothers have been important in my life also. I had the good fortune to grow up around a lot of older relatives. Today life is both easier and harder than in their time. I’m glad your life has that touch with an another time. Understanding and respecting that history can give us a perspective nothing else can.
    I’m 65 now. My daughter is 22. You are a lot younger than I and a little older than she is. Thankfully we can more easily live a visually rich life with some new luxuries. But living life is still very demanding. My screen name is what I called my dear grandmother, also a wonderful woman. Write your stories about Moe down even if they do not all make up part of a blog post.
    You take care of yourself and enjoy everything you can. I enjoy you blog.
    Thank you, Mimi

    • Keiko Lynn says: September 9, 20162:06 pm

      Thank you, Mimi! I’ve always cherished the stories from my family members, and luckily we have a couple of family tree books with stories that go way back. It’s so fascinating.

  6. Chantal Caissie says: September 8, 20168:52 am

    I had never heard about feedsack dresses before! That’s so neat!

  7. laura says: September 9, 201612:00 pm

    You look absolutely beautiful, love these photos and the styling!

    http://www.tinytwisst.com

  8. Linda says: September 9, 20166:31 pm

    What a wonderful post about feedsack dresses and your grandmother! I had a remarkable grandmother too. Her father owned and ran the local flour mill. I have always wished we had some of the cotton sacks they used at the mill. Granny was a fantastic seamstress also and sewed many of my sisters’ and my dresses, as well as for others. She also made all of her children, grandchildren, and great grand children at least on quilt. We all cherish quilts made by Granny. She lived to be 103.

  9. Leigh says: September 12, 20163:30 am

    Wow! This is so cool. I LOVE the dress and the entire look. The photos are also so amazing. I jut love the story. That’s the main reason I am obsessed with vintage. I love that the clothing has a story and is so special.

    xo
    Leigh